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Language teaching for democratic citizenship

By Hugh Starkey


This paper proposes some principles that language teachers can use to inform their preparation of courses and lessons that contribute towards education for democratic citizenship (EDC). By definition EDC includes a political dimension, since democracy means choices and discussions that do not always result in agreements. Some teachers may find a political role uncomfortable or be unsure how it can be justified in a public education system. Before presenting the principles, I consider why language teachers should be concerned with EDC and the issue of how this can be included in a language teaching programme. Drawing on evidence from interviews with language teachers, I suggest that issues of identity are important for teachers and learners of languages and for EDC. I also consider some of the barriers that language teachers may face when they attempt to implement EDC through language teaching

Year: 2006
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